While the image above may look like something out of the Haunted Mansion at DisneyWorld, it is in fact a prototype interactive mirror developed by IconNicholson and demonstrated at an NYC Bloomingdales for a few days last week. The mirror allows a shopper to virtually try on different outfits by projecting an image of the selected item(s) "on top of" the shopper's own image. While the obvious benefit might be a new wave of efficiency that allows shoppers to try out a larger number of items without having to drag them all into a dressing room, the mirror's developers had a more social goal in mind: group shopping. As this article from the New York Times notes,
As [self-described shopaholic Tracy] Noah stood in front of the mirror, a camera relayed live video images of her to an Internet site where online participants could view her outfit. When Web viewers responded by sending her comments, their instant messages popped up on the left side of the mirror for Ms. Noah to read. They also selected items for her to try on, causing virtual images of the clothing to appear before her in the middle of the mirror, like life-size holograms.The article notes that shopping for non-essentials (ok, what I would call non-essentials) can be a largely social experience for many, and the prospect of trading a night out shopping with the girls isn't likely to be replaced by a night in front of the computer watching one of your friends go shopping any time soon.
Augmented reality mirrors have been a hot topic lately. Other blog posts about them include:
AddMirror brings retail media to the narcissist
Adidas virtual shoe-fitting mirror
Tags: IconNicholson, Bloomingdales, digital signage, interactive mirror